I started writing this on a crumpled napkin in my car, sitting in the parking lot after work:
I realized the failings of this past relationship were my fault. I was not strong enough to ask for what I needed, and to leave when she could not provide it. So we fought, hungry and angry making demands only to be met with disappointment. We loved each other so much, but were too blind to see how bad we were together.
I deserve someone who doesn’t cheat on me. I deserve someone who is proud to have me as their boyfriend. I deserve someone who will not ignore me when I am in need. I deserve someone who will not throw me away so casually: someone whose love outweighs her anger. I deserve someone that carries in their heart, Me at my best, and forgives the me at my worst. I deserve love. Real love.
And in return, I promise you, whoever you are:
I will be the kind of man you want your father to meet, and the kind of man you want your sons to grow up to be. I will be the kind of man who provides for his family not just by working, but by cooking, and by being an equal partner in the household. I will be a man strong enough to protect you, but gentle enough to hold you. I will be a man who reads to our children every night, a man who goes to every play, every game, every recital, and takes off from work to chaperone field trips. I will be the type of man who treats your parents as if they were my own. I will be a man who admits to my mistakes, and apologizes when I know I’m wrong. I will put your feelings before mine, because I know you’re doing the same for me. I will tell you everything, my fears, my worst mistakes, so you may know me, and so you may love me entirely.
I am not that man yet. Not even remotely close. But when I get there… just you wait. I will earn the rest of your life, and you—the rest of mine.